US court upholds fine against bakers who refused lesbian couple

Washington, Dec 29 (IANS) A US court has upheld a decision for a bakery to pay $135,000 in fine to a lesbian couple who they had refused to serve in the state of Oregon.

The owners of Sweet Cakes, Aaron Klein and his wife Melissa, refused to bake a wedding cake for the same-sex couple, Rachel Bowman-Cryer and her wife Laurel in February 2013, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Oregon Court of Appeals on Thursday ruled that Sweet Cakes unlawfully discriminated against the lesbian couple by refusing to render service for their wedding.

The bakery owners were ordered to pay the fine for emotional damages to the victims.

“This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage. It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal,” the Oregon Bureau of Labour and Industries said in a final order in 2015.

Under the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, businesses cannot discriminate or refuse service based on sexual orientation, race, disability, age, or religion.